I believe that the historical record is clear on this -- which actually raises the question of why our science reporting never attempts to tackle the more difficult, yet just as problematic, issue of dogmatism in science. Pseudoscience exists at one pole of a continuum whose opposite pole is dogmatism. The public's task as critical thinkers is to identify both, but the debunking culture which dominates most of the reporting today tends to cater exclusively to the textbook view of science, which focuses almost entirely upon the successes of science. From Against the Tide A Critical Review by Scientists of How Physics and Astronomy Get Done:
In other words, any failure to address dogmatism in science reporting can exhibit a sociological side effect which is peripherally related to the point made in Richard Feynman's Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman! (btw, part of the book's conclusion) ...
That warning truthfully applies to all attempts at science.
When debunking against-the-mainstream scientific claims becomes the principle activity which drives scientific discourse, it can implicitly suggest to those who have not had the time to study history of science the simplistic narrative that science arrived at the current theories in a linear, unerring fashion. What the public needs to do -- with or without the support of science reporters & scientists themselves -- is to seek out potential sources of dogmatism in theory. We need to reject the textbook view of science as overly-simplified, by coming to grips with the fact that there are mistakes in our theories today.
The way to do that is to build independent knowledge systems which act to increase comprehension in the sciences amongst laypeople, create guidelines for effective clashes of worldviews, and support rational decision-making about worldviews and longstanding controversies in science by reducing the overhead associated with investigation of against-the-mainstream ideas. The return on such efforts, in the long run, and with even a very minor success rate, will be an increase in the competition between scientific models, and a challenge to dogmatism in science today.
Perhaps this might help ...
fast-forward to 12:27 - 13:33 (Woit is specifically referring to physics, btw):
Our fundamental problem with unification is that a certain number of ideas have been tried out which all have well-known problems -- and string theory is now one of them. But there's a lot of things that haven't been tried … If you start to get to know the subject, you realize the number of people working on the subject … It's a fairly limited community. It's a few thousand people … And … most of them are kind of following the lead of a fairly small number of people. The number of actual different ideas that people are trying out is actually quite small … There's a much larger array of ideas out there which nobody has taken the time to look into because the way the field works … These things are very difficult. You would have to go spend several years of your life doing this, and if no one else is interested in what you're doing (and most likely, whenever you're trying out new ideas, it's not going to work anyways). The way the field is structured, it's kind of very very hard to do that kind of work, because it's likely to damage your career. If you're trying to do it when you're young, you're gonna very well end up not having a job.